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Westlake Boys Lead Region 4, District 25 Golf Tournament

In an impressive performance, the Westlake boys golf team shot 276, 12 under par, in the first round of the Region 4,  District 25 Boys Golf Tournament to grab a 12 shot lead over Lake Travis and a 13 shot lead over Vandergrift.  The Westlake II boys team shot 293.   The tournament is being held at Greyrock Golf Club, a par 72 layout.

Listed below are the team and individual results from the first round.  Second round play is underway today.  If weather prevents completion of the second round, the results will be determined on the basis of the first round.

Team Results

Team Results
round 1
Westlake 276
Lake Travis 288
Vandegrift 289
Westlake II 293
Lake Travis II 307
Vista Ridge 317
Vandegrift II 318
Hays 340
Lehman 362
Vista Ridge II 378
Leander 380

Individual Results

Player School rd 1
Reid Davenport Westlake 68
Michael Rome Westlake 68
Brandon Hoff Vandegrift 69
Matthew Denton Westlake 69
Nathan Petronzio Lake Travis 69
Reid Powell Lake Travis 70
Daniel Martinez Vandegrift 71
Nick Palmo Westlake II 71
Reese Ramsey Westlake 71
Trey Gillingwater Westlake II 72
Tristan Stalker Lake Travis 72
Thomas Bockholt Westlake 73
Trey Bosco Lake Travis 73
Luke Dossey Vandegrift 74
Jackson Davenport Westlake II 74
Lance Kuhns LT med. 74
Major Gammill Westlake med. 74
Grayson Litowitz Lake Travis 74
Aaron Teece Vista Ridge 75
Cole Sherwood Vandegrift 75
Carson Smith Lake Travis II 76
Wyatt Speaks Vandegrift med. 76
Jefferey Taughinbaugh Westlake II 76
Cameron Caldwell Vandegrift II 77
Hunter McDonough Westlake II 78
Taylor Stanley Vista Ridge 78
Marcial Jones Westlake med. 79
Luke Jasinski Vandegrift II 79
Foster Givens Vandegrift 80
Travis Aldrich Lake Travis med. 80
Mike Ospovat Westlake med. 80
Noe Hinojosa Lehman 80
Dalton Doerr Vandegrift II 81
Colin Slater Vandegrift II 81
Jack Wehman Vandegrift II 81
Sam Chiarelli Vandegrift med. 81
Zane Petty Vista Ridge 81
Joe Kerley Lake Travis II 81
Sean Rabbitt Lake Travis II 81
Jason Protass Lake Travis 82
Bronson Clark Vandegrift med. 82
Jackson Ingraham Westlake med. 82
Ian Cameron Hays 82
Luis Vilorio Vista Ridge 83
Ethan Duetsch Lehman 83
Jackson Goolsby Lake Travis med. 83
JD Cervantes Hays 83
Ryan Palmer Leander 84
Brock Cantu Leander 85
JD Moss Hays 87
Perry Bigelow Hays 88
Dylan Briscoe Lake Travis II 89
David Poynter Vista Ridge II 90
Chris Alford Lehman 91
Jacob Medel Hays 91
Parker Lindsey Leander 93
Paul Copeland Vista Ridge II 93
Charlie Burke Vista Ridge II 94
Matthew Hyde Hays med. 96
James McGhee Leander med. 98
Dalton Hudson Leander med. 101
Mason Skidmore Vista Ridge II 101
Jason Patlan Lehman 108
Riley Poston Vista Ridge II 108
Dylan Hudson Leander med. 118
Devin Alvarez Leander 118
Donovan Welch Lehman 135
Ryan Matthys Leander DQ

 

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Lake Travis and WestLake Girls Golf Teams Advance to Regional

Three of the strongest 6A high golf programs in the state of Texas are grouped into Region 4, District 25.   Those programs are Lake Travis, Westlake and Vandegrift.  These programs have won state titles in both boys and girls golf championships on a regular basis.

The race to the state tournament started with the district girls golf tournament on Monday and Tuesday at Plum Creek Golf Course.
Lake Travis won the tournament with a two day total of 588.  They posted a team total of 303 the first day and 285 the second day.

Westlake finished ten shots behind Lake Travis with a two day team

2017 Westlake Varsity at District Tournament

2017 Westlake Varsity at District  (l to r) Jordan Shackelford, Bently Cotton, Madelyn Jones, Sadie Engleman, Randi Romack

score of 598.  They shot 301 the first day and 297 the second day.

Vandegrift finished in third place with a two day total of 614.

The top two teams advance to the regional tournament.

Click the link below to see the full spreadsheet of scores
2017 Girls District results

 

 

 

 

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Jay Reynolds Wins Spring Championship By One

Steve Hammond and Jay Reynolds

Steve Hammond and Jay Reynolds

Jay Reynolds shot 68-68=136 at Roy Kizer Golf Course to win the 2017 Spring Championship by one shot over Steve Paterson.

Reynolds was the Austin Amateur Golf player of the year in 2016 and continues to be a dominant force in the Austin amateur golf scene.

True to form, Steve Paterson gave Reynolds a run for the title and finished one shot back.  As usual, it came down to a putt here or there that made the difference.   Paterson has consistently played excellent golf and has won the points race for player of the year several times.

Defending champion Barrett Sandefur finished in third with a three under par total of 139.

Steve Hammond gives players last minute instructions prior to shotgun start

Steve Hammond gives players last minute instructions prior to shotgun start

Second round play was delayed by storms that moved through the area early Sunday morning.  Tee times were moved from the 8:00 am start time to a 1:15 shotgun start.

As a result of the rains and stormy conditions, green speeds were a bit slower than normal and players were challenged to adjust to the conditions.   There was an absence of the winds that blew 15-20 during the first round although the breeze freshened late in the day.    Steve Hammond and his staff did an excellent job of dealing with the weather delay and keeping players informed as to the status of tee times by the use of email and test messaging.

So the first local amateur tournament is in the books.  The next event will be the spring partnership at Lions Municipal.  The field is full and there is a long waiting list so if you are not already in the field chances are you will not get in.

Pos Player Thru Total R1 R2 Total Purse
1 Jay Reynolds F -6 68 68 136 $400.00
2 Steve Paterson F -5 68 69 137 $275.00
3 Barrett Sandefur F -3 68 71 139 $250.00
T4 Matt Riley F -1 70 71 141 $200.00
T4 Robert Evans F -1 70 71 141 $200.00
T4 Sam Wallach F -1 70 71 141 $200.00
7 Cody Price F E 71 71 142 $150.00
8 Brandon Babineaux F +1 68 75 143 $150.00
T9 Greg Smith F +2 71 73 144 $143.33
T9 Nathan Shilling F +2 72 72 144 $143.33
T9 Jacob Walsh F +2 74 70 144 $143.33
T12 Gene Black F +3 71 74 145 $123.33
T12 Peach Reynolds F +3 71 74 145 $123.33
T12 Devon Mccarley F +3 73 72 145 $123.33
T15 Manish Bhakta F +4 68 78 146 $105.00
T15 Greg Jones F +4 72 74 146 $105.00
T15 Grady Bruce F +4 73 73 146 $105.00
T18 Ben Carter F +5 71 76 147 $100.00
T18 Jeff Shell F +5 73 74 147 $100.00
T18 Jon Roseberry F +5 73 74 147 $100.00
T21 Josh Swanson F +6 73 75 148 $0.00
T21 Nick Erickson F +6 74 74 148 $0.00
T21 Mike Allen F +6 74 74 148 $0.00
T24 Chris Benestante F +7 71 78 149 $0.00
T24 Rob Albertson F +7 75 74 149 $0.00
T24 Matthew Jungman F +7 77 72 149 $0.00
T27 Paul Romero F +8 74 76 150 $0.00
T27 Trey Gardner F +8 78 72 150 $0.00
T29 Lee Krassner F +9 75 76 151 $0.00
T29 Seth Stuart F +9 79 72 151 $0.00
T29 Rob Ormand F +9 75 76 151 $0.00
T29 David Collura F +9 76 75 151 $0.00
T29 Nickolai Esau F +9 76 75 151 $0.00
T34 Randy Reynolds F +10 72 80 152 $0.00
T34 Stew Ford F +10 78 74 152 $0.00
T34 Daniel Alba F +10 77 75 152 $0.00
T37 James Gustafson F +11 75 78 153 $0.00
T37 Steven Eckelman F +11 75 78 153 $0.00
T37 Matt Smith F +11 74 79 153 $0.00
T37 Dexter Moreno F +11 75 78 153 $0.00
T37 Michael Goldwater F +11 80 73 153 $0.00
T37 Christopher Pearson F +11 77 76 153 $0.00
43 Tommy Norris F +12 80 74 154 $0.00
T44 Mark Schnabel F +13 75 80 155 $0.00
T44 Trey Caldwell F +13 79 76 155 $0.00
T44 Joe Ramos F +13 79 76 155 $0.00
T44 Philip Schroedter F +13 77 78 155 $0.00
T48 Sean Durkin F +15 75 82 157 $0.00
T48 Robert Specjal F +15 76 81 157 $0.00
T50 Bret Hutchens F +16 81 77 158 $0.00
T50 Bill Sill F +16 79 79 158 $0.00
T50 Matthew Wahl F +16 77 81 158 $0.00
T50 Adam Jones F +16 76 82 158 $0.00
T50 Myron Jordahl F +16 77 81 158 $0.00
55 Randy Zimmerhanzel F +18 80 80 160 $0.00
56 Jason Stoddard F +22 83 81 164 $0.00
DID NOT FINISH
WD Charles Young +1
WD Chris James +3
WD Gavin Moreland +5
WD Russell Brightman +6
WD Nathan Schwarz +9
WD Ryan Hagens +11
WD Marco Palacios +12
DQ Scott Bailey
DQ Bradley Patterson

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Spring Championship Leaderboard Full Of Familiar Names

Barrett Sandefur and Beth Cleckler. 2016 Spring Championship winner.

Barrett Sandefur and Beth Cleckler. 2016 Spring Championship winner.

The first round of the 2017 Spring Championship is in the books and the leaderboard is populated with the names of the best amateurs in the Austin Area.  Five players share the lead at 68, three under par, at the Roy Kizer Golf Course.

Defending champion Barrett Sandefur had five birdies and two bogies in route to 33-35=68.  Steve Patterson shot 36-32=68, with five birdies and a bogie on the back nine.  Manish Bhakta had six birdies and three bogies.  Jay Reynolds had four birdies and one bogie while Brandon Babineaux had five birdies and two bogies.

The wind was steady at about 15-20 mph for most of the day.  The greens were a bit slower than some and recovering from being punched but in general they are in good shape for this time of year.  A well struck putt generally held it’s line and, as demonstrated by the good scoring, making putts was not a problem. In general it was a pleasant day for playing golf.

The final round will be played Sunday.  Tee times and play may be disrupted by rain and thunder storms.  Players will be notified if there are delays.  Follow the scores and keep up with the tournament via the GolfAustin.Org website or the free app for i-phones and android devices.

Full field scores are below.

Pos Player Thru Total R1 R2 Total
T1 Barrett Sandefur 18 -3 68 68
T1 Manish Bhakta 18 -3 68 68
T1 Steve Paterson 18 -3 68 68
T1 Jay Reynolds 18 -3 68 68
T1 Brandon Babineaux 18 -3 68 68
T6 Matt Riley 18 -1 70 70
T6 Robert Evans 18 -1 70 70
T6 Sam Wallach 18 -1 70 70
T9 Chris Benestante 18 E 71 71
T9 Gene Black 18 E 71 71
T9 Ben Carter 18 E 71 71
T9 Peach Reynolds 18 E 71 71
T9 Cody Price 18 E 71 71
T9 Greg Smith 18 E 71 71
T15 Greg Jones 18 +1 72 72
T15 Charles Young 18 +1 72 72
T15 Nathan Shilling 18 +1 72 72
T15 Randy Reynolds 18 +1 72 72
T19 Jeff Shell 18 +2 73 73
T19 Jon Roseberry 18 +2 73 73
T19 Devon Mccarley 18 +2 73 73
T19 Grady Bruce 18 +2 73 73
T19 Josh Swanson 18 +2 73 73
T24 Nick Erickson 18 +3 74 74
T24 Chris James 18 +3 74 74
T24 Mike Allen 18 +3 74 74
T24 Paul Romero 18 +3 74 74
T24 Matt Smith 18 +3 74 74
T24 Jacob Walsh 18 +3 74 74
T30 Rob Albertson 18 +4 75 75
T30 James Gustafson 18 +4 75 75
T30 Steven Eckelman 18 +4 75 75
T30 Lee Krassner 18 +4 75 75
T30 Sean Durkin 18 +4 75 75
T30 Mark Schnabel 18 +4 75 75
T30 Dexter Moreno 18 +4 75 75
T30 Rob Ormand 18 +4 75 75
T38 David Collura 18 +5 76 76
T38 Robert Specjal 18 +5 76 76
T38 Adam Jones 18 +5 76 76
T38 Gavin Moreland 18 +5 76 76
T38 Nickolai Esau 18 +5 76 76
T43 Myron Jordahl 18 +6 77 77
T43 Russell Brightman 18 +6 77 77
T43 Matthew Jungman 18 +6 77 77
T43 Daniel Alba 18 +6 77 77
T43 Philip Schroedter 18 +6 77 77
T43 Matthew Wahl 18 +6 77 77
T43 Christopher Pearson 18 +6 77 77
T50 Trey Gardner 18 +7 78 78
T50 Stew Ford 18 +7 78 78
T52 Trey Caldwell 18 +8 79 79
T52 Joe Ramos 18 +8 79 79
T52 Seth Stuart 18 +8 79 79
T52 Bill Sill 18 +8 79 79
T56 Michael Goldwater 18 +9 80 80
T56 Randy Zimmerhanzel 18 +9 80 80
T56 Nathan Schwarz 18 +9 80 80
T56 Tommy Norris 18 +9 80 80
60 Bret Hutchens 18 +10 81 81
61 Ryan Hagens 18 +11 82 82
T62 Jason Stoddard 18 +12 83 83
T62 Marco Palacios 18 +12 83 83
DID NOT FINISH
DQ Scott Bailey
DQ Bradley Patterson

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Winners and Loser from WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

Golf ball and tee with famous "Hi, How Are You?" mural painted on the side.

Golf ball and tee with famous “Hi, How Are You?” mural painted on the side.

Winners:

Dustin Johnson

The biggest — and most obvious — winner this week has to be world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Johnson breezed through the group play stage and first two knockout rounds to secure his place in the semi-finals. Then on Sunday, without his best game, he dispatched Hideto Tanihara and Jon Rahm to complete the WGC career grand slam and earn his 15th PGA Tour victory.

Johnson raced out to early leads in both his matches on Sunday – 3 up through seven holes in the morning and 5 up through eight holes in the afternoon – before letting the leads slip away on the back nine. But he proved why he the No. 1 player in the world, and hit gutsy shots coming down the stretch to preserve the victories.

And the scariest part for everyone else on Tour? Johnson doesn’t even feel like he is playing his best golf yet.

“I’m playing really well, don’t get me wrong,” Johnson said. “If I’m playing my best, yeah, I’ll play against anybody, anytime.”

God help everyone else when he does start playing “his best.”

The fans

The fans from all over the world who converged on Austin Country Club last week have lots of positives to take away from the week. The best Austin has to offer was showcased – whether it be the local food trucks from Torchy’s Tacos and Amy’s Ice Cream, or the Dell Technologies Fan Experience tent down by the lake.

All in all, there were few complaints from fans last week – not even the $7 a pop price on beer. If there were issues with the fan experience, they were few and far between.

Austin Country Club

Not enough good things could be said about ACC last week — from the opening press conferences at Hotel Van Zandt on Monday, to the champion’s press conference Sunday evening. Everyone – players, fans, sports writers, etc. – raved about the course. The 17th hole in particular was a favorite. One writer even went so far as to describe it as “the best par-3 in America without water.”

And players were thrilled with the course as well, especially for the match play format.

“I think it’s great,” Johnson said. “I think it’s a great match play course. It’s a lot of fun. You make a lot of birdies. I like the golf course a lot. I feel like it sets up well for me. And it sets up well for match play. It’s a fun golf course to play.”

Losers:

Jordan Spieth

Spieth — the golden child and Austin darling — never quite looked comfortable at ACC last week. Even on a track that he has extensive experience playing from his time at the University of Texas, Spieth struggled to get anything going in his group-play matches.

He lost his opening match 4 and 2 to Hideto Tanihara – who he admitted he knew very little about coming into the week. He followed it up with a victory over Yuta Ikeda. But Spieth would halve with Ryan Moore on Friday and get bounced from the tournament.

But Spieth was still encouraged by the performance as he looks ahead to the Masters next week.

“All in all, I’m very, very happy right now going forward,” Spieth said. “Going to try and build on this momentum.”

Also the fans

Yes, Austin Country Club is a terrific golf course. And yes, the success it has had in two years hosting the Dell Technologies Match Play deserves to be celebrated. But it is no secret that ACC is not the most spectator friendly course in the world – particularly on the front nine (back nine for member play).

Most of the holes on that side of the golf course only allow for spectators on one side of the fairway – an issue for getting a good view of the action during the weekend matches. The slog of spectators crammed together for a good look of the championship match was a sight to behold. Although, the scene of fans sprinting down the side of the 18th fairway was quite entertaining.

This is not a slight at ACC. The Pete Dye design utilizing the hills and the lake make for a unique golfing experience. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make for the friendliest course for viewing golf.

Jon Rahm’s chip shot on No. 18

Through eight holes in the championship match, Rahm looked dead in the water. His ball striking wasn’t as sharp as it had been all week, and his usually steady putter suddenly went cold. But over the final 10 holes, the 22-year-old proved why he is one of the most-promising young players in the world.

Rahm birdied No. 13, No. 15 and No. 16 to trim Johnson’s lead to 1 up. He smashed his drive over the green on No. 18 and faced a delicate up-and-down to force extra holes.

Just as he began his backswing on the chip shot, a loud crash could be heard from somewhere behind the 18th green. He appeared to chunk the shot and was left with a near-impossible putt for birdie.

“You hope those things don’t bother you, but unfortunately for me it did,” Rahm said. “I wish I could go back and hit it over the slope 15, 20 feet left. But it’s just things that happen, honestly. It won’t be the last time I have a noise on my swing on the last hole… It’s golf. It happens.”

It was an unfortunate end to the week for Rahm, but the young Spaniard will surely be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.

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World No. 1 Dustin Johnson Reaches Match Play Semi-Finals

Dustin Johnson takes questions in his post-round press conference.

Dustin Johnson takes questions in his post-round press conference.

No. 1 player in the world Dustin Johnson secured his spot in the final four this afternoon with another dominating performance over Alex Noren.

Johnson closed out the match with a birdie on the 16th hole to win 3 and 2. This is the farthest he has ever advanced in this event, and puts him within striking distance of completing the WGC grand slam.

Although Johnson closed out his match early, it was not as easy as he made it seem. Noren pulled all square in the match with a birdie on the 13th hole.

“I knew Alex was going to be a tough opponent,” Johnson said. “I wasn’t frustrated that I was all square. I was frustrated that I kind of gave away 10 and 11.”

It was all Johnson from that point forward. He made birdie on 13 to pull ahead, and followed with birdies on 15 and 16 to close out the Swede.

When asked what made him such a tough match play opponent, Johnson was at a loss for words.

“I don’t know. I’m playing good golf right now,” Johnson said. “I like this golf course. I feel like it suits my game pretty well. I’ve got a good feel for it. I make a lot of birdies.”

The reigning U.S. Open champion is looking to become the first PGA Tour player since Rory McIlroy in 2014 to win three straight starts. He won the Genesis Open in February – making him the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Rankings – and followed it up with a victory at the WGC-Mexico Championship earlier this month.

“He looks unbeatable,” said Hideto Tanihara, Johnson’s semi-final opponent.

Maybe not unbeatable, but Johnson is in some kind of zone. When asked what his pulse was like on the golf course, he dryly replied, “It’s beating. Not very fast.”

And from his even keel demeanor and in-control play he has exhibited over the last six weeks, that much is obvious.

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Eight Left in Dell Match Play

Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson

Saturday morning there were 16 players left with a shot at the title for the WGC Dell Match Play Tournament.  After the morning round there were eight.  Those included Phil Mickelson, Bill Haas, Soren Kjeldsen, John Rahm, Ross Fisher, Hideto Tanihara, Dustin Johnson and Alex Noren.

 

Mickelson defeated Mark Leishman  – 4&3
Hass beat Kevin Na  – one up
Kjeldsen beat William McGirt – 5&4
John Rahm beat Charles Howell III – 6&4

Ross Fisher defeated Bubba Watson – 4&3
H. Tanihara defeated Paul Casey  2&1
Dustin Johnson defeated Zack Johnson  – 5&4
Andrew Noren defeated  Koepka – 3&1

Kjeldsen making birdie on hole #5

Kjeldsen making birdie on hole #5

Kjeldsen, shown here making a birdie putt on number 5, was five under par through 14 holes.  He defeated Rory McIlroy in the first round of play on Wednesday and was 6 under par when that match ended.   So Kjeldsen is in good form for his match this afternoon against John Rahm.  And, he will need to be in goof form.

 

John Rahm driving on #6

John Rahm driving on #6

 

Rahm polished off his countryman Sergio Garcia on Friday to finish undefeated in his pool of players and advance to the sweet 16.  Rahm is ranked #25 in the world golf rankings but Mickelson says he believes Rahm is on of the ten best players in the world.  Rahm can certainly be considered a contender for this title.

 

 

Mickelson driving on #6

Mickelson driving on #6

Mickelson will play Bill Haas in the Saturday afternoon quarterfinal match.    He has been driving the ball well and playing from the fairway which is essential on this golf course.  He is also putting well and credits that to hours of hard work on the putting green during the last eighteen months.  He putted well in 2016 and in the Ryder Cup.  If he continues his current form, Haas will have a tough time beating him.

 

Dustin Johnson and Taylor Made Hat...

Dustin Johnson and Taylor Made Hat…

Alex Noren, who defeated Brooks Koepka in the morning round will take on Dustin Johnson.  Noren, who is ranked number 11 in the world golf rankings is a serious threat to Johnson.  Not well known in the U.S.  Noren is a multiple winner on the European Tour and an excellent player.  And, in a 18 hole match any ranked player can have a good or bad round and influence the outcome.

Ross Fisher will face Tanihara in the quarterfinals.  Fisher is not invited to the Masters as of this moment.  He is close to receiving an invitation and a win here or perhaps a runner-up would secure him a spot in the Masters so he is working hard to achieve that goal.

 

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Sweet 16 Set for WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

View of Pennybacker Bridge from the 12th tee box.

View of Pennybacker Bridge from the 12th tee box.

With day three of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in the books, the match-ups for the knockout rounds are officially set. Only five of the top 16 seeds advanced out of group play. And although the weekend will be without many of the big-name stars – Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy – the weekend should have lots of quality golf.

Here are some of the marquee match-ups for the round of 16.

—————————————————————————

No. 1 Dustin Johnson vs. No. 44 Zach Johnson

This match-up of former major winners will be interesting as the two play such contrasting styles. Dustin Johnson, with his phenomenal power, is always a threat to overpower a golf course. But Zach Johnson can use his methodical precision to dissect Austin Country Club and leave himself with the best angle to attack some tricky pins.

Although Dustin is hot this week – he has not trailed during any of his three matches – look for Zach to give the No. 1 player in the world a run for his money. Zach made it through a tough draw in Group 16 after he defeated Brendan Steele 1-up on Friday.

“Yeah, I’ll have a tough match tomorrow,” Dustin said. “But hopefully we can get a victory.”

Their match tees off at 8:47 a.m. and should draw one of the largest crowds of the day.

No. 20 Brooks Koepka vs. No. 8 Alex Noren

These two golfers have been just about perfect this week – at least in the win and loss column. Brooks Koepka, the up-and-coming American, breezed his way through Group 9 with a 3-0 record. Koepka has yet to trail in any match this week after dismantling Kevin Kisner and Jason Dufner 6 and 5, and squeaking out a 1-up victory over Patrick Reed.

“It’s fun, you just do your thing, and playing well,” Koepka said. “Just need to keep — keep doing what I’m doing.”

Alex Noren’s play this week has been equally impressive as the Swede advanced through Group 8. Noren has also yet to trail at any point this week. He was the first player in the field to claim a spot in the knockout round on Thursday as the beneficiary of a WD from Francesco Molinari. With players playing as many as 36 holes a day during the weekend, look for that extra day of rest to be a factor.

This match-up will tee off at 8:36 a.m.

No. 14 Phil Mickelson vs. No. 28 Marc Leishman

This could very well be the most entertaining match of the early morning tee times on Saturday. Phil Mickelson, who is winless on the PGA Tour since his 2013 Open Championship triumph, has been nothing short of spectacular this week in Austin.
Mickelson has never been the strongest match-play competitor, but from his play this week you would never know it. He has yet to have a match reach the 16th hole – he only needed 42 holes to advance this week.

“I’m nervous that I haven’t been in a match that has gone the last hole or two and feel that clutch pressure,” Mikelson said. “But also the good is that I have been able to conserve energy heading into this weekend.”

Marc Leishman had a more unconventional route advancing to the knockout stage. He went 1-1 in his first two matches before getting a win on Friday via concession after Jason Day’s unexpected WD. He squeaked into a three-way playoff with Lee Westwood and Pat Perez, and emerged victorious after birdieing the second hole. But after his win last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his game is obviously sharp and he is a definite threat to make it two wins in a row.

This match is set to get underway at 7:41 a.m.

————————————————————————————-

With tee times set to begin bright and early on Saturday – Bill Haas and Kevin Na will get underway at 7:41 a.m. – and continuing throughout the day, look for another action-packed day out at Austin Country Club.

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Mickelson Advances to Weekend At WGC Dell Technologies Match Play

Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson defeated J.B. Holmes in the third round of play at the WGC Dell Technologies Match play to advance to the sweet sixteen of the tournament.   Mickelson commented that he felt good about his game, particularly his driving and putting.

“I think that although each match I’ve hit one or two bad drives, I’ve driven the ball well.  From the fairway, I’ve been able to utilize my iron play and hit some good iron shots.”

“The other thing too is that I’ve become much more efficient or much improved in the last two years inside six, eight feet with my putter.  I have not let shots like that go.  For instance, No. 12 today against J.B. Its a four and a half footer, little bit of turn right to left.  I’m rolling those in consistently now and I think that’s been a real factor in my play this week.

When asked why he was putting better he commented “A lot of work, a lot of hard work. I spent hours and hours working on it the last few years.”

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Hats At The Dell Match Play Championship – Who Is Styling?

Dustin Johnson and Taylor Made Hat...

Dustin Johnson and Taylor Made Hat…

Lets talk about golfers hats.  Dustin Johnson, the number one golfer on the planet wears a “golf hat”.

The ubiquitous golf hat.  It’s really a baseball style hat that 90 plus percent of touring golf professional wear.  That includes both men and women professionals on all tours worldwide.  That is not a scientific fact, its just an observation.  Say golf hat to someone and what do they think of?  The type you see on Dustin Johnson.  It’s really a baseball hat but everyone calls it a golf hat.

These hats all have logos.  You can’t buy one without a logo.  It’s a rule.  I don’t know who made it a rule but I’ll bet you cannot find one of these hats without a logo unless you order it that way.

Some of these hats vary the size or style of the brim a bit.   Ricky Fowler started wearing a flat brim “golf hat” and created a whole new look and clothing line.  Imagine how bold it was of Fowler to vary the style of the hat brim in a sport like as golf.  Really wild….

Some of the success of the “baseball”  style of hat in golf is function.    It’s inexpensive, portable, stows easily in luggage, and comes in an infinite variety of colors and patterns.

Justin Leonard and low profile golf hat

Justin Leonard and low profile golf hat

You can even vary the height of the hat so it will reflect a period in baseball history or various styles worn by baseball teams of the past.  Think about Justin Leonard and the style of golf hat he wore.  It was a low profile hat as opposed to DJ’s fairly high profile hat.

Ben Hogan and his Hogan Cap

Ben Hogan and his Hogan Cap

Ben Hogan wore a different style of hat. One that was associated with more of a common worker back in his day.  It was really a cap, not a hat.

He became famous for that style of cap.  If you ever see a video of Ben Hogan swing a club or playing in a tournament, it was in one style of cap.  When someone says “It was a Hogan style hat”, a true golfer knows what that means.

A Pith Helmet Style of Hat

A Pith Helmet Style of Hat

Personally, I have worn a lightweight straw Pith Helmet for over 30 years of competitive golf because it was gave protection from the sun and dissipated the heat better.  And in Texas, those are important characteristics.  It also stayed on my head in all but the most windy conditions and it had a chin strap when it was needed.  It was no good in the rain.  Having had this experience with hats and competitive golf, I thought it might be fun to take a flight of fancy and explore the possibility of Dustin wearing a different style of hat.

Mysterious Tex

Mysterious Tex

Meet Mysterious Tex— The woman wearing this hat was with a group of folks hanging out on the patio outside the Harvey Penick Room at Austin Country Club during the second round of matches.

The hat had style.  I don’t know the  brand or model but imagine Dustin Johnson wearing a hat of this nature.  Combine that  with with his natural gunslinger swagger and you’d have a scene straight from a Louis L’Amour Western, complete with a high noon type of drama.   “So, You think you can take me down in this match?  Meet me at high noon on the first tee and we’ll see who comes out on top.”   Nice hat.  It might require a hat box to travel but it has room for a logo and would add some character to the DJ mystique.  It might need a chin strap in the wind but would work in the rain.

The commercial, UV blocking, non-stylistic, practical hat

The commercial, UV blocking, non-stylistic, practical hat

Dustin could, in anticipation of the effect of spending years in the wind, sun and baking elements of global warming and a thinner atmosphere, opt for the senior tour version of a sun protection device that maximizes the shading effect.

Ubiquitious, practical, functional, non-stylistic hat.

The commercial, UV blocking, non-stylistic, practical hat

That style of hat maximizes the protection from UV rays and also provides an opportunity for advertisement revenue..  I’d say Dustin is a bit young for this option but it’s something to keep in mind for the future.   And, the logo can be tailored to whatever might be appropriate for the golfer and sponsor.  Another feature is that is is very practical for travel.  Both luggage friendly and washable, it is a shoo-in for someone on the go.  Plus, pets and kids like to play with it.  So, you can add fun to the characteristics of the commercial, UV blocking, non-stylistic, practical hat.

The Red Hat

The Red Hat

Now, if style were the primary criteria in hat selection for professional golfers, we should consider the Red Hat.

At first blush it might seem a bit too much for the practical mind.  How would it do in the high winds?  Could I wear it with the white pants and belts that now seem to be in style on the tour?

Would I need to wear sunglasses with this much shade for my eyes, and of course, what kind of a headband could I use to advertise some sort of revenue producing logo that would favorably reflect on my personal image and the game of golf as well.   No doubt a daunting task… Not really a good candidate for a Dustin Johnson type of player.   Unless of course he wanted to be a Robin Hood type of character or some odd note in the tradition laden game of golf.  No doubt it would spark outrage in some quarters.   Better not go there….

The farmboy or farmgirl hat

The Farmers Hat

There is the Farmers Hat.  Although this beautiful lady is probably not a farmer, imagine Dustin with this style of hat doing a post round interview after destroying another opponent and saying something like “Oh shucks, it wad’nt nutin  that would raise an eyebrow down at the general store.  I jest made six birdies and an eagle and won 8 and 7.   If I’d ah putted gud I’d a made annuder birdie beat him 9 and 8.”

This hat might work.  Heckfire, Dustin is a South Carolina dude who doesn’t say much, is sneaky smart and has the physique for plow morning till night. Maybe we should throw in a set of overalls and let him play without a shirt underneath… It might work…  Movies have attested to the resilience of this style of hat in scenes with rain, sun, wind and adventures across the frontier.  I’m not sure, but I think it would support a headband logo so we are good there….definitely a possibility.

The Chin Strap Hat

The Chin Strap Hat

The Chin Strap… In alignment with the metaphor of Dustin Johnson being somewhat of a gunslinger type of personality, we need a chin strap.  This fellow, who was out following the action in the second round of the matches, had battened down the hatches in the 22 mph winds, with occasional gusts to 30 mph, by securing his hat with a chin strap.

In the gunslinger version of Dustin, we would be charging across the prairie in wild pursuit of the Ned Pepper gang with six guns blazing and our hats flapping in the wild western wind as bullets zipped by and fell harmlessly on the plains.  But the hat would be secure because of the chin strap.

Oh well, I don’t expect Dustin to change his hat style but was is fun to look at all the hats that can be seen at the Dell Match Play Championship and imagine Dustin Johnson wearing one.

 

 

 

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